I have heard that mantras are taught in guru shishya relation,where the disciple receives mantra Diksha(initiation).

If this is actually true,then what are the differences between when a Dikshit person recites a mantra,versus when a non initiated normal individual recites the same mantra?

Please answer with scriptural basis.

  • 1
    Non initiated persons are not qualified to recite scriptural mantras. There is no scripture which says otherwise. If a non initiate recite mantras then as per scriptures its not fruitful. You may want to see - (hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/20367/4732), (hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/23240/4732), (hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/29929/4732),
    – Rickross
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 10:29
  • Is this applicable for mantras like Om Namah Shivaya,Om Namo Narayana,Shiva Gayatri Mantra?As someone may as well recite them out of just devotion ,and not for any special power...like a devotee.
    – Amethyst
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 13:10
  • Yes applicable. People do chant those and others out of devotion but the act is not sanctioned by scriptures.
    – Rickross
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 13:22
  • @ Rickross Not sanctioned as in -not prohibited,but neither recommended,right?
    – Amethyst
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 14:19
  • No it's more than just "not recommended"
    – Rickross
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Talk 8, Talks with Ramana Maharshi

D: “Can anyone get any benefit by repeating sacred syllables (mantras) picked up casually?

M.: “No. He must be competent and initiated in such mantras.” Maharshi illustrated this by the following story: A King visited his Premier in his residence. There he was told that the Premier was engaged in repetition of sacred syllables (japa). The King waited for him and, on meeting him, asked what the japa was. The Premier said that it was the holiest of all, Gayatri. The King desired to be initiated by the Premier. But the Premier confessed his inability to initiate him. Therefore the King learned it from someone else, and meeting the Minister later he repeated the Gayatri and wanted to know if it was right. The Minister said that the mantra was correct, but it was not proper for him to say it. When pressed for an explanation, the Minister called to a page close by and ordered him to take hold of the King. The order was not obeyed. The order was often repeated, and still not obeyed. The King flew into a rage and ordered the same man to hold the Minister, and it was immediately done. The Minister laughed and said that the incident was the explanation required by the King. “How?” asked the King. The Minister replied, “The order was the same and the executor also, but the authority was different. When I ordered, the effect was nil, whereas, when you ordered, there was immediate effect. Similarly with mantras.”

This is true for mantras that need to be initiated. However, for mantras like Ram, Krishn, there is no need for initiation. This lecture (in Tamil) cites the scriptural sanskrit source that says no initiation is required for reciting Ram, Ram. I will try to find the source text online.

Further, I believe that all the stotras taken from the puranas can be recited by anyone.

  • What happens if the mantra is recited just in devotion,and not for any desired fruit as such?No one is harmed when a devotee recites a mantra of his /her ishta,right?
    – Amethyst
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 13:14
  • @Amethyst Sir, for tantric mantras, they may still be bad effects.
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 13:51
  • tantric?Would you explain?@GIRIBLR
    – Amethyst
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 14:22

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